Hotel maid in Strauss-Kahn case speaks out

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The New York hotel maid who  accused former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of attempting  to rape her said in an interview published on Newsweek’s  website yesterday that he appeared as a “crazy man” and  attacked her when she entered his room.

Nafissatou Diallo also gave the newsmagazine and ABC News permission to identify her by name.

The magazine interview marks the first time the 32-year-old  Guinean immigrant to the United States has publicly spoken to  the media since she shocked the world with allegations that  Strauss-Kahn emerged naked from the bathroom of his luxury  suite on May 14 and forced her to perform oral sex. Until now, Reuters had kept to the practice in the United  States of protecting the identity of alleged rape victims.

ABC News today also announced it would broadcast an  interview with Diallo tomorrow morning.

“I want justice. I want him to go to jail,” she said in  excerpts from the ABC News interview released yesterday.

“I want him to know that there is some places you cannot  use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something  like this,” Diallo said.

ABC reported Diallo also acknowledged “mistakes” but said  that should not stop prosecutors from going forward.

“I never want to be in public but I have no choice,” she  told ABC News, adding “Now, I have to be in public.  I have to,  for myself. I have to tell the truth.”

Diallo, who Newsweek said had agreed to be photographed for  next week’s edition, said she saw Strauss-Kahn appear naked in  front of her when she opened the door to his suite. He was like  “a crazy man to me,” she said.

“You’re beautiful,” she reported Strauss-Kahn as saying,  and said he attacked her despite her protestations.

Strauss-Kahn, 62, has repeatedly denied all the charges  against him. In a statement to media yesterday, his lawyers  called the interview a last-ditch effort by the maid and her  lawyers to extract money from Strauss-Kahn.

She is “the first accuser in history to conduct a media  campaign to persuade a prosecutor to pursue charges against a  person from whom she wants money,” lawyers Benjamin Brafman and  William Taylor said.

“Her lawyers and public relations consultants have  orchestrated an unprecedented number of media events and  rallies to bring pressure on the prosecutors in this case after  she had to admit her extraordinary efforts to mislead them.”

The interview comes after her credibility was thrown into  question when Manhattan prosecutors revealed Diallo had told  authorities numerous lies, including fabricating a story about  being gang-raped in Guinea in order to gain U.S. asylum. She  also changed details of her story about what happened following  the purported assault.

French newspaper France Soir reported in a front page  headline that David Koubbi, the lawyer for French writer  Tristane Banon, who has accused Strauss-Kahn of a 2003 sexual  assault, had met with Diallo. It added only that he “was  impressed by her courage.”

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